The Self-Restraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies

New democracies all over the world are finding themselves haunted by the old demons of clientelism, corruption, arbitrariness, and the abuse of powerleading to a growing awareness that, in addition to elections, democracy requires checks and balances. Democratic governments must be accountable to the electorate; but they must also be subject to restraint and oversight by other public agencies. It is not enough that citizens control the state. The state must control itself.

This collection explores how new democracies can achieve that goal. Focusing on electoral administration, judicial systems, corruption control, and central banks, the authors consider such issues as how governments can establish effective agencies of restraint, why they should accept them, and what those agencies can do to achieve credibility.